Support Victims Of Abuse: Let not History Repeat Itself!

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(By Zvi Gluck)

Seven and a half  years ago, we created Amudim with a mission: to give a voice to the victims of sexual abuse and eradicate stigmas so that those who had been victimized could get the help they needed to heal. Baruch Hashem, we have come so far since we first opened our doors, which is what makes recent events so troubling.

Several weeks ago news broke regarding an influential member of our community, with dire accusations. The story has come to a shocking end with the accused taking his own life.

Complex situations often cannot be put into nice and neat packages. Confusion and varied points of view are normal and common when these events occur. One of the viewpoints that has been emerging has been one of sadness for family members. In addition, this viewpoint is stressing an adherence to the halachos of lashon hara, and of course, that is a necessity. Negligently destroying someone’s reputation without any shred of evidence or credibility is a terrible act, and goes against everything we stand for. However, these points do not hold up in the face of destroying the lives of victims. There is another viewpoint that must be presented on behalf of victims of abuse worldwide. Although I am not a leader of any particular community, I have spoken to a number of Rabbanim and communal leaders, and Baruch Hashem, at least quietly, they have been very supportive of the message that must get out. Baruch Hashem, a small group of Rabbanim have written about this vital viewpoint, but they are few and far between, and this message must be presented with the volume and attention it deserves. Bemakom she’ain Ish… if others are not saying it, I’ll say it.

Can we forget how traumatic this episode has been for the victims, whose years of suffering have been further compounded?  Not only do they no longer have any way of facing their abuser, a crucial step in getting proper closure and moving on with their lives, but turning this event into an anti-lashon hara crusade effectively tells victims of abuse that their pain doesn’t matter, only that of a bereaved family. Victims carry the pain of their abuse every day and every waking hour of their lives; for some, the scars remain forever. I can’t even begin to count how often our founder, Mendy Klein a’h, would shed tears over the fact that sexual abuse is more horrific than murder, because while death brings with it an end to suffering, abuse victims live in torment every day of their lives unless they get the help that they need to go from being a victim to being a survivor.

Countless people tend to come out and support abusers and alleged abusers, but we don’t see the same when it comes to supporting victims. It is so heartbreaking to see innocent victims revictimized. I myself have spoken to many gedolim who confirmed to me that they have met with victims, corroborated their stories and even provided piskei halacha saying that they should go to the police with their stories, both recently over the stories surfacing now, as well as over the years. Publicly supporting victims is vital and therapeutic. Merely supporting them quietly and in private conversations is a good start, but it still leaves the victims clueless of such support and it deepens their pain and trauma.

Each time we fail to seize an opportunity to break stigmas and provide a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves, we as a community become complicit in the abuses that have taken place. Worse yet, we provide a safe haven for sexual predators and their defenders by excusing any mention of their unspeakable actions as lashon hara, chilul Hashem, embarrassing the abuser or hurting their children. Why are we not standing up for those who are abused? How are we allowing them to be revictimized? What about their embarrassment and that of their children? We have set our community back light years, creating a tragic scenario where innocent victims will be afraid to speak out because the community will label them as rodfim and murderers, instead of placing the blame squarely where it belongs – on the shoulders of those who abuse children.

Ironically, we often see a common denominator in abuse cases, with abusers threatening victims or their families – whether it is physically, financially, emotionally, socially or communally – or abusers vowing to destroy themselves or their own families in an effort to prevent their victims from speaking out. It’s time we stop blaming victims when abusers get divorced, are jailed or take their own lives, and remember that abusers bear the responsibility for those consequences which, sadly, can impact their own children as well.

Let me make this very, very clear. A person who abuses people is guilty. Individuals who know about abuse and do nothing are guilty. Community leaders who know about abuse and refuse to support victims and their loved ones don’t get a free pass because they hold positions of honor – they too are guilty.  I leave it to the beis din shel ma’ala to stand in judgment on what happened.

To the victims, we hear you, we will fight for you, and you are not alone. Do not EVER think that your reporting of abuse can ever be the cause of someone killing themselves or harming others in any way. Your duty is to keep yourself and your family safe, and we will never stop supporting you. If someone reacts to this situation in any way other than getting themselves the help they need, that is their fault and not yours. They are the perpetrator, and they need to seek out the help available to them, to get themselves out of it, express remorse, face their victims, and go to therapy.

One final point. To all those people out there who are struggling with thoughts, feelings, and urges regarding crossing boundaries with other people, or who have already unfortunately started to go down that path, seek out the help available before it’s too late.

It is my hope that strong leadership will emerge from this terrible situation that will support victims of abuse on all levels – emotionally, therapeutically, communally and, yes, publicly.

May Hashem bless those who have been traumatized with the strength and the courage to go on and may we all see the day that we can change the narrative, so we are truly there to support those in need.

Rabbi Zvi Gluck is the CEO of Amudim, an organization dedicated to helping abuse victims and those suffering with addiction within the Jewish community and has been heavily involved in crisis intervention and management for the past 22 years.  For more information go to www.amudim.org.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


80 COMMENTS

  1. Your article, Rabbi Gluck, implies that in the particular incident that is now in the public eye, speaking loshon horah about the alleged perpetrator will somehow help in bringing “closure” to his alleged victims. You seem to be weighing the interest of avoiding loshon horah against the interest of comforting victims. The logic behind that balance escapes me. Please explain how it works. The alleged perpetrator is no longer living. His alleged victims will not be able to face him no matter what. So what is the justification, in this situation, for your “heter” for the loshon horah? In what way will the loshon horah help them? (And even if it would help them somehow, are you sure this would be solid grounds for a heter?)

  2. @Eli Willner i dont believe rabbi gluck is suggesting we all start speaking about the situation and spew for no reason. i dont believe he said once that there is a heter lashon hara. what he is saying is that victims should be encouraged when they come forth and sholud not be dismissed or worse accused of being horrible people on account of alleged ‘lashon hara’ for doing the right thing and helping themseleves and protecting others.

  3. @ClearKop I am referring to this portion of the article:
    “Can we forget how traumatic this episode has been for the victims, whose years of suffering have been further compounded? Not only do they no longer have any way of facing their abuser, a crucial step in getting proper closure and moving on with their lives, but turning this event into an anti-lashon hara crusade effectively tells victims of abuse that their pain doesn’t matter, only that of a bereaved family.”

    This fellow is obviously no longer capable of harming anyone so it is not necessary to broadcast his alleged misdeeds to prevent him from harming anyone else. Rabbi Gluck is implying that we should allow loshon horah against him to continue for the sake of his alleged victims. I question the benefit to them and I question the grounds for the heter.

  4. But….. What if the whole thing is a farce? We still don’t know if any of the allegations are true!

    Why can’t the rabbanim come out with clear irrefutable evidence that these crimes were committed and we would burn his books in town square.
    Until that point it’s still lashon hara.

    I am not God forbid downplaying the suffering of the victims. I’m just asking why can’t the rule of law be at play here.

  5. Closure and Therapeutic recovery are very important and victims of any form of abuse really need validation, sympathy and acceptance. The need to protect from further abuse is a necessary reason to let people know that “so and so” should be stayed away from.
    However public shaming for the sake of shaming is not the Torah way, its the goyshe way. Revenge for the sake of closure? shaming because its therapeutic? lets say the abuser is some sort of sex addict and needs help, alot of help and is destroying others lives. The victims need to accept its from hashem like any other tzarah and yes the abuser is very sick (and possibly very evil) does that mean we can kill someone for the sake of closure and recovery.
    As some one who has dealt with many forms of abuse I can say there are other forms of abuse that can be at times worse. Are we going to shame every abusive parent or teacher etc ?
    Lets not loose sight of our goal to be oveidi hashem even when its hard

  6. As usual, Rabbi Gluck makes excellent and powerful points. Of course, we should never do anything to further the pain of the victims and everything must be done to stop an abuser. What bothers me is the role of the Chareidi media in this entire episode. Yes, they have an obligation to do what they can to stop abusers and prevent further harm. However, anything beyond that borders on sensationalism in order to generate more clicks. Yes, dirt sells, and juicier dirt sells more. There is a point at which the media crosses from protecting victims into becoming dirt peddlers.

  7. @Clearkop Yes we should, of course, put the feelings of victims of abuse over those of the perpetrators and their families, but I agree with Eli Willner and I don’t believe that Tzvi Gluck was referring to the voices of the victims. He was trying to make a statement about feeling for those victims and not backing the horrific, evil people who do these terrible deeds. I just don’t see where knocking the Loshon Harah aspect of this particular story comes in to play.

  8. I hope what Rabbi Gluck meant to say is that for the victims to come out and speak about the abuse is in no way L.H. But for the ‘gossipers’, what’s the toyelos in that?!

  9. @EliWillner, Rabbi Gluck is definitely not implying anything like that, and, if you need a proof, read the letter again. The accused’s name is written nowhere in the letter.

  10. An awful lot of words and letters that absolutely only confirm and defend yourselves___this man is dead, without proof and shame…..shame on all of you for this shelf of horror__at 79 years old I can say that often those writing these little notes themselves are the perpetrators, so please , shut up and be the Jews we are to be…you are all acting like the horrid gentiles

  11. The man was a master manipulator, which is how he took this so far and for so long. So when he was finally being forced to confront his deeds, he wasn’t interested in doing that, because he’s the one who calls the shots. Others don’t get to call the shots on him. And therefore he took his final act of manipulation, where he knew that many would then cry out to stop investigating and talking about him, for all sorts of frum reasons. Why so many can’t see this… well again, he was a master manipulator, and apparently is still at work.

  12. Yasher koach R’ Tzvi for your article and all of your work. If I could perhaps try to explain people’s concern regarding the family members and lashon hara. Of course a victim should speak out both for their own sake and to protect future victims. The question is at what point should the public banish someone accused of abusing others? Should we wait till after evidence is brought? Till after the court case/din Torah is complete? As soon as an article is printed in a news outlet? Yes, it is true that for many years the community didn’t take abuse seriously enough, but it’s a very slippery slope to start taking allegations too seriously and completely destroy people’s lives before any verdict is reached. Should we start making new mistakes as a way to compensate for our old ones? Both sides have risks. What role did the media have in this? Was there benefit to the victims to have their story broadcasted all over America? There are ways to handle this. Of course victims should defend themselves as well as future victims. But how? Is our discussing the issue around the water cooler really out of our concern for the victims or is just good gossip? Perhaps if this would have been handled more discreetly without the public condemnation, the victims would have been able to face him in court. I don’t know, I’m not an expert, nor do I know all the details of this situation. I’m just trying to flesh out the different sides to the issue. I don’t think it’s as simple as people putting lashon hara and abusers before victims.

  13. Well said, but still- as far as breaking news stories, each breaking story and its follow-ups should be carefully reviewed, approved, and signed on for publication by prominent Rabbonim from at least most communities, to protect a real perpetrator’s innocent family members from unnecessary harm (by limiting the release of information to the minimum necessary), and even more importantly, to make sure that innocent people aren’t framed. As horrible as it is when a story is true, it can be even worse if it isn’t, as far as the falsely accused person and their family is concerned. A story like this one is clickbait whether it would’ve turned out true or not.

  14. If we can have a Beis Din that is willing to accept allegations of abuse and are ready to listen to all evidence, and if the accuser seams creditable they will allow them to get that person to go onto the local Pedophile list, that should solve a lot of problems. Most people in our communities are thank Hashem good normal healthy people. Talking about it too much can have a negative effect of normalizing it. Since we are all afraid of each other the Pedophile doesn’t feel alone anymore. Talking about the trauma can sometimes stand in your way of opportunities to grow. For example our grandparents went through a life that we can’t read the stories of it. Most of them didn’t talk about it only very limited. I believe that’s the reason we were able to start a new generation. From the other hand there are some that are grandchildren of slaves many generations back and they still talk about it every day. It’s definitely keeping them back from growing. How do I know because some of those grandchildren have moved on and they are seeing better results.

  15. The problem is that in today’s world people love to gossip. It stems from goyisha sources and made its way into our circles mainly due to social media.
    As we know, most things going around in the news is not 100 percent true (if true at all)
    People get so excited to degrade others and choose to believe every word they read.
    Now Rabbi Gluck, most ppl who heard about this story that happened or didn’t, don’t know any personal victims involved. Without a proper psak from a normal solid beis din or a well known posek like r chaim kanievsky, why in the world should we choose to believe such gossip, and what heter do we have to believe it all??
    What happens when and if Chas vesholem someone decides to accuse you of such crimes that you can’t prove your innocent?? What are the percentage rate of going out onscath?
    Askunim who deal with ppl on an emotional level,, Especially the ones dealing with kids from unhealthy.or unstable homes on a daily basis will all agree that if someone opens a case against him for no reason and blackmails others to join him and talks to troubled teens that ended up having a tough life and helps them put all blame on a person that for whatever reason stopped helping them at a certain point, what are the chances of proving innocence???
    Common people open your eyes. Yes. Ppl out there are being abused. But how many askunim today are being abused by lies and embarrassment??

  16. I have a great idea to bring closure – why don’t frum news organizations such as YWN publish an article with the abuser’s NAME? Remaining anonymous seems like we’re trying to protect the abuser’s reputation.

  17. Thank you for saying that. We need to support the victims not the abusers. And I applaud individuals who do not sweep this under the rug, because many do, particularly if the abuser is influential. People who actually do something about this are the people with hearts big enough to care for the victims.

    I need to insert that not all accusations are true, but at what point does proof, which can a combination of numerous victims coming out to tell their stories, audio recordings, threats to keep quiet because they’ll kill themselves, etc….at what point do we accept proof to be proof? Do we need an actual video of the deed? We need to have das Torah clarify at what point abusers need to be publicized to keep these predators away from other innocents. Halacha clearly gives not only allowance, but obligations to publicly let people know to keep away from reshuim who hurt others. So please do not sweep this under the rug again and let us know in clear terms at what point people must sit up and take notice, for the good of the tzibbur, that an abuser is definitely an abuser. Or butei dinim could take this issue as seriously Rav Eliyahu and his bes din has did and this wouldn’t even be an issue as we could rely on butei dinim to keep us safe, not the pride of the abusers safe.

    If we choose not to believe the proof because it’s “loshon hora” we may end up with spiritually and physically dead children because we did not want to listen to “loshen hora” as Gedalia ben Achikim did not want to as well. And the repercussions of his death are felt to this day.

  18. Hey Rabbi Gluck how about we try this on you? “Negligently destroying someone’s reputation without any shred of evidence or credibility is a terrible act, and goes against everything we stand for. However, these points do not hold up in the face of destroying the lives of victims.”

  19. Yes, there should be zero tolerance for abuse. Victims suffer terribly. Yet that is not a carte blanch Heter for anything and everything that people want to say.

    There is a fundamental difference between conversations that are necessary to stop terrible behavior or help specific victims in concrete ways and general public chatter and talk. Tzvi Gluck’s heartfelt words blur this important distinction.

    Halacha requires that words be weighed and one must be careful of blanket statements, however good intentioned they may be.

  20. I agree with and fully support 99.9% of what has been written here.

    There is one point with which I will take issue. Amudim has consistently put forth the idea that “abuse victims are worse off than murder victims”. This is simply not a truthful statement. Murder victims are dead. Every aspect of their lives is over, with no chance or hope of accomplishing anything – period – ever again in this world. An abuse victim has the chance of overcoming his or her trauma and living a productive life. And even when they must live with the scars of the horrible thing that was perpetrated against them, they can still accomplish good things with their life.
    At the very least, this sentiment must be qualified. “In a certain sense, abuse victims are worse off than murder victims.”

  21. @Eli Willner I respectfully do not see the implication that you claim in Rav Gluck’s article. When he mentioned “closure”, it was regarding “facing the abuser”, which is not related to the issue of speaking out about what happened. He does not, in my opinion, imply that, even if the abuser were still living, speaking out publicly would be an avenue for facing him.

    The issue is that there are other abusers, and there is reason for concern that the frum community unintentionally is harboring them by discouraging discussion about them.

    The question that disturbs me about this particular case is that supposedly some 20 victims ended up testifying, and that the purported incidents occurred over a long period of time. Why indeed did it have to come this far and this long? What mechanisms or channels does our community have for facing this? We have no idea how many victims did *not* testify. If this had come out earlier, how many victims may have been spared? Also, if this had come out earlier, it could be that the accused perpetrator would have repented, made amends as best as possible, and not come to take his own life.

  22. Eli Willner, learn the halachos of lashon hara l’toeles including being mevazeh ovrei aveira and especially where there is a toeles of protecting future victims if all the conditions are met. And all the more so in this case where there is eidus in bais din and he was summoned to a bais din where it had been established that he was “eino oseh ma’aseh amcha” in aveiros the severity of which is known to all such as “ma’aseh Tuvia”.
    The Chofetz Chaim makes it clear that hilchos lashon hara are not meant to protect mazikim whose hezek can be prevented by warning the people or scaring the mazik into complicity for fear of his deeds being publicized and its repercussions. It is the responsibility of the klal to call osei aveira to task so that society is not a hefker velt where anyone can cause damage freely and be falsely protected by the laws of lashon hara. Until something is proven – yes – one may suspect to protect others from harm – l’meicash – and one may warn people to be careful. In a case where a bais din has gathered evidence, where there are recordings, and where someone actually threatened suicide to pressure his victims into silence and then carried it out when his threat did not help – there is no chashash of lashon hara. It is hard to believe that Rav Gershon shlita was told all the facts. It cannot be that daas Torah goes counter to hilchos lashon hara which includes protecting victims and counter to maintaining a just society in which ovrei aveira cannot freely get away with vicious abuse.

  23. Daas torah is the only solution
    We listen to gedolei hador
    they know more than us
    All the details should be spelled out to them, and they will decide for us

  24. Are you kidding me? no one stands up for the victim? there is a whole cottage industy [include yours] that sprang up doing just that.
    “I leave it to the beis din shel ma’ala to stand in judgment on what happened.” how about you practice what you preach?

  25. Surely the main issue here is how the alleged offences were publicised while still being proved?!
    It seems to me that too many people are willing to gossip and slander without any evidence and before A Beis Din has given psak on the matter.
    Victims deserve all the support they need before, during and after a trial. The accused is not guilty until proven so by a Beis Din, not by public opinion.

  26. Ribono Shel Olam, how is Walder’s family getting over this, no one seems to care but only spewing hatred, he’s already in Shamayim someone is already doing the right think as he understands it, so stop slandering already

  27. Please read the recent letter from Harav Gershon Edelstein Shlita, making it clear; public defamation is murder!
    Genuine victims need support; is this a heter for Mesiroh?
    How many falsely accused abusers, have done no wrong? How can you just believe the “victim” without a shred of evidence? How many OTD children get it on their parents for reason?

  28. Dear Zvi Gluck

    My kids have been growing up on Chaim Walder for a while.
    I met him once and he seemed to be a nice guy.
    If you check his resume you will see he has done many good things in his life; educational books, summer camps, helping kids and many others. He was also a loving father, grandfather and husband.

    So I have a few questions.

    A few weeks ago when the article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (which is well know to be a anti religious) a bookstore in NY made an announcement on Instagram that they are removing his books from their stores. You then on social media applauded this person and said how right he was to make a stand against such a person. This was followed by all the Heimishe websites quoting this bookstore on his decision. After all, this bookstore owner is one of us (Anshei Shloimeinu), he dresses and looks like us. He helps people and gives Tzedoka.

    Did that person independently verify that his accusers were speaking 100% the truth, does he or yourself even speak a fluent Hebrew to be able to do so?

    Before you gave your “Hechsher” to this guy’s decision did you independently verify this story.

    Did you give Chaim Walder a chance to answer?

    As frum Jews we are meant to follow the Shulcan Aruch. Does that mean anything?

    There are also Hilchos Lashan Hara written by the Chafetz Chaim.

    Reb Gershon Edelstein wrote.
    הבא על אשת איש יש לו חלק בעולם הבא
    המלבים פני חבירו ברבים אין לו חלק בעולם

    In your article you quote “Gedolim”, I am curious why you cannot put a name to these Gedolim. Which of these “Gedolim” say you can publicly shame someone based on a newspaper unverified story.

    Which “Gedolim” say you can post on social media.

    And which “Gedolim” say that everything is ok, in order to provide the right therapy and it has to be in public.

    Maybe these “Gedolim” can also confirm that all these accusers names should also be public, and everything they are accusing him of should also be public. Or maybe the victims have a right to their privacy, their claims shrouded in secrecy and no-one can know anything about any of that. Why can’t I know their names so I can ask them what really happened?

    So you claim yourself במקום שאין איש you want to be an איש, your article has a picture of yourself in front of an Aron Hakodesh, in front of Sifrei Torah so obviously everything you say is קודש קדשים, with a הכשר from the very best.

    And in the name of your organization you are giving a הכשר to everything that has happened, in the social media which you a proud member of, I am sure your “Gedolim” tell you that the social media that you use is all OK.

    Why if someone feels so strongly about what happened could he have not taken these books QUIETLY out his stores without telling anyone why?

    Is it only the correct decision when you tell everyone about it, advertise it and glorify it and then wait for all the applause on the comments that he got?

    Of course he will tell you how difficult it was to do and he means it לשם שמיים and he will quote you a פסוק of צדק צדק תרדוף.

    Now regarding the victims, they need to be helped. 100%.

    They should go and do what דעת תורה says. Sometimes it will be to go to a Rav, sometimes to go to court and press charges.

    Yes it takes time but if they are correct, the accused will go to trial, to jail, or pay the person a fine.
    Yes that is NOT enough for the victim but in this world called עולם הזה this is what is available.

    Believe it or not there is another world to come. And over there there is no hiding and no getting away. And just like you wait to get paid there for all the Mitzvas and Chessed you do, there is also a statement for everything else.

    The same G-d who told us to do mitzvas and help also gave the laws of not shaming people in public, of not believing Lashan hara etc. No “Gedolim” gave a Heter to what happened.

    And all those who have a part in this social media freebie, bashing and everything else cannot say ידינו לא שפכו את הדם הזה.

  29. I read this and cried. Living here in eretz yisroel the most shocking thing has been the whitewashing of this mans reputation since his death! On frum news sites, papers writing glowing obituries…Hashem yerachem!!! What message are we as a kehilla passing to our children? NOT to report abuse! And to be able to clear your name by suicide! I feel very much for the niftars family but I feel much mire for his victims and any other abuse victims who now will never come forward

  30. This sugya is vey complex & deep like all sugyos, so let’s try to be misamek.
    Katonti to try & represent the Daas Torah of Maran Harav Gershon Edelstein Shlit”a, but before I quote his words (quoted in a site as having been written to Mechanchim {obviously translated-I take no Achrayus for the translation} let’s all agree on a few facts.
    1. Even if abuse is mamash murder, is someone allowed to kill a murderer (even if he knows 100% that he is a murderer) without a Beis Din?!!!!!
    2. Halmabin Pnei Chaveiro Barabim Ein Lo Chelek……. because it is equal to murder (Rabbeinu Yonah), so one cannot be malbin Pnei Chaveiro without Beis Din.
    3. What is the message that we want Mechanchim to give over after this happened, since we don’t talk about abuse & we don’t talk about protecting victims.
    The ONLY message we can give over is about Hamalbin Pnei Chaveiro, because with all due respect to Tzvi Gluck, even if he spoke to the ALLEGED victims & even if it’s 99.9% correct, that is not a Beis Din, & we must worry about Halbin Pnei Chaveiro.
    As someone wrote above, after what happened, even though the victims need even more assistance, what in the world is the point of writing now about it in public.

    Now here is the quote from Maran Harav Gershon Shlit”a:

    “Even if there is a teacher who thinks that he has an opinion in the matter, etc., it is imperative to only tell the children the Torah perspective, and to warn how dangerous it is to publicly humiliate someone, and to tell them that bad people smeared him everywhere to the point that he was too embarrassed to show his face in public, causing him to become mentally unwell to the point that he…….”

  31. The גמרא in יומא on דף פו says מפרסמין את החנפים מפני חילול השם.

    רש”י explains that if we see someone who lives a double life, on the outside he acts as if he is a righteous person but behind the scene he is a רשע, we are obligated to publicize him for his misdeeds for two reasons: firstly that people should not learn from his ways and secondly because when he’s punished (or like in this case where he took his life) people should not be puzzled by it. It should be made clear that he was an evil רשע.

    Surely, קל וחומר, in the case at hand, where this individual was an extremely dangerous person, Rav Eliyashiv paskened on such people that they are considered a רודף – a murderer for putting their victims in סכנת נפשות – surely it was a great mitsva to expose him to the public and to let everyone know that what befell him came from his own misdeeds.

  32. great article in the general sense, with one MAJOR MAJOR FLAW

    This entire article as it relates to the Walder situation is based on a completely speculated and faulty foundation.

    The article is written as though walder was a convicted molester.
    No, although it might help your agenda, he was not. This is alleged.

    Multiple rabbis did not interview all of the victims. Rabbis eliyahu and beis din do not have the ability or tools at their disposal to verify these claims. They are not professionals.

    He was judged and essentially convicted before it is possible to verify these claims, based on their own uninformed and unprofessional assessment. This is the crux of the issue.

    It is NOT proven that he threatened his victims, it appears to be proven that he has had an extra marital affair, while not condoning it that is a private matter between two consenting adults.

    He is an accused individual that has been pre-judged, (law enforcement has tools for verification in the form of lie detector tests, professionals in this matter, sting operations, wire taps etc . . .) not some rabbi from safed who decided he is god.

    You article is based on faulty foundation that the accused is guilty, and that has not been proven.

  33. I am not taking sides other than saying that Gedolei Torah should be consulted on the topic of Loshon Harah, and it is not up for us to decide. Regarding the family, they are unfortunate victims too who have to live with this for the rest of their lives. I am a bit confused why their feelings shouldn’t be of concern. As is true with everything in life, this is a question for people bigger than me and you. A rov, and in this case a Gadol Hador, should be consulted. This is way too weighty for us to just pontificate when there are lives on both sides of the story that are being affected in a very real way.

  34. For decades, segments of the frum tzibur hid behind a totally fraudulent geder of not speaking loshon horah, protecting the “kavod” of certain rabbonim, chassidus and mosdos, or simply discounting and devaluing the voices of abused women and children to avoid confronting the ongoing trauma and personal tragedies in plain view (if one took the time to investigate). Those days are OVER. To speak “lashon harah” openly and loudly about the abusive behavior of a rashah is necessary and warranted.

  35. To question 1: the short answer is YES. Not only that but even HABA Lihargach Hashkem Lhargo. If someone is a danger yes you do whatever is needed. Although this has nothing to do with this story since he killed himself. Let’s face it no-one killed him other than himself. Calling out people that were trying to save humanity to be murderers is only causing more harm for future cases. Whoever thinks it’s murder to publicise one who is thought to be a molester should have said so earlier!! They had a few weeks to say that! Allowing this to happen and then scream murder after the story only shows that it’s a emotional reaction. And does not take in account future cases where people won’t know if they are tzadikim or evil until after the case, which will make every thing even harder than it is now.

  36. Dear Zvi Gluck

    My kids have been growing up on Chaim Walder for a while.
    I met him once and he seemed to be a nice guy.
    If you check his resume you will see he has done many good things in his life; educational books, summer camps, helping kids and many others. He was also a loving father, grandfather and husband.

    So I have a few questions.

    A few weeks ago when the article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (which is well know to be a anti religious) a bookstore in NY made an announcement on Instagram that they are removing his books from their stores. You then on social media applauded this person and said how right he was to make a stand against such a person. This was followed by all the Heimishe websites quoting this bookstore on his decision. After all, this bookstore owner is one of us (Anshei Shloimeinu), he dresses and looks like us. He helps people and gives Tzedoka.

    Did that person independently verify that his accusers were speaking 100% the truth, does he or yourself even speak a fluent Hebrew to be able to do so?

    Before you gave your “Hechsher” to this guy’s decision did you independently verify this story.

    Did you give Chaim Walder a chance to answer?

    As frum Jews we are meant to follow the Shulcan Aruch. Does that mean anything?

    There are also Hilchos Lashan Hara written by the Chafetz Chaim.

    Reb Gershon Edelstein wrote.
    הבא על אשת איש יש לו חלק בעולם הבא
    המלבים פני חבירו ברבים אין לו חלק בעולם

    In your article you quote “Gedolim”, I am curious why you cannot put a name to these Gedolim. Which of these “Gedolim” say you can publicly shame someone based on a newspaper unverified story.

    Which “Gedolim” say you can post on social media.

    And which “Gedolim” say that everything is ok, in order to provide the right therapy and it has to be in public.

    Maybe these “Gedolim” can also confirm that all these accusers names should also be public, and everything they are accusing him of should also be public. Or maybe the victims have a right to their privacy, their claims shrouded in secrecy and no-one can know anything about any of that. Why can’t I know their names so I can ask them what really happened?

    So you claim yourself במקום שאין איש you want to be an איש, your article has a picture of yourself in front of an Aron Hakodesh, in front of Sifrei Torah so obviously everything you say is קודש קדשים, with a הכשר from the very best.

    And in the name of your organization you are giving a הכשר to everything that has happened, in the social media which you a proud member of, I am sure your “Gedolim” tell you that the social media that you use is all OK.

    Why if someone feels so strongly about what happened could he have not taken these books QUIETLY out his stores without telling anyone why?

    Is it only the correct decision when you tell everyone about it, advertise it and glorify it and then wait for all the applause on the comments that he got?

    Of course he will tell you how difficult it was to do and he means it לשם שמיים and he will quote you a פסוק of צדק צדק תרדוף.

    Now regarding the victims, they need to be helped. 100%.

    They should go and do what דעת תורה says. Sometimes it will be to go to a Rav, sometimes to go to court and press charges.

    Yes it takes time but if they are correct, the accused will go to trial, to jail, or pay the person a fine.
    Yes that is NOT enough for the victim but in this world called עולם הזה this is what is available.

    Believe it or not there is another world to come. And over there there is no hiding and no getting away. And just like you wait to get paid there for all the Mitzvas and Chessed you do, there is also a statement for everything else.

    The same G-d who told us to do mitzvas and help also gave the laws of not shaming people in public, of not believing Lashan hara etc. No “Gedolim” gave a Heter to what happened.

    And all those who have a part in this social media freebie, bashing and everything else cannot say ידינו לא שפכו את הדם הזה.

  37. This entire article as it relates to the Walder situation is based on a completely speculated and faulty foundation.

    The article is written as though walder was a convicted molester.
    No, although it might help your agenda, he was not. This is alleged.

    Multiple rabbis did not interview all of the victims. Rabbis eliyahu and beis din do not have the ability or tools at their disposal to verify these claims. They are not professionals.

    He was judged and essentially convicted before it is possible to verify these claims, based on their own uninformed and unprofessional assessment. This is the crux of the issue.

    It is NOT proven that he threatened his victims, it appears to be proven that he has had an extra marital affair, while not condoning it that is a private matter between two consenting adults.

    He is an accused individual that has been pre-judged, (law enforcement has tools for verification in the form of lie detector tests, professionals in this matter, sting operations, wire taps etc . . .) not some rabbi from safed who decided he is god.

    You article is based on faulty foundation that the accused is guilty, and that has not been proven.

  38. @ladler: I daresay I am as familiar with hilchos loshon hora as you are, but unlike you, I have the humility to admit that I am not a posek and do not care to play with fire by declaring, as you have, that it is a mitzva to publicize the *alleged* misdeeds of an individual who is no longer capable of harming anyone else, because it *might* stop others from committing similar heinous acts and it *might* “somehow” give comfort to this individuals alleged victims.

    The only posek of stature who has spoken on this matter is Rav Gershon, who very strongly prohibited this loshon horah. You quote no one but yourself. I am not impressed. Rabbi Gluck quotes anonymous. I am still not impressed.

  39. IRA123. & Moshe12345

    Have nailed it!!!

    Having been a victim myself, I feel that these organizations supposedly trying to help victims have in a way made the problem worse… Both from the recovery of victims stand point and the EVILNESS of fake allegations or even exaggerated allegations. Chofetz Chaim

    Must abusers are SICK, they are NO different than a thug abusing people. no one equates healthy people to thugs… this knowledge internalized helps victims to full recovery. victims still must lear how to protect themselves in the future, and speak up to the right people of C”V when it happens etc…

    Many people of these organizations have turned otherwise regular individual with challenges into “victims” of abuse and consequently ruined their lives

    Abuse has unfortunately become a cheap word… and they have made it seem it’s everywhere, in every school, Shul, etc.

    Truly SAD!!!

    There needs to be a balance. We need organizations to help real victims, but it needs to be done with sensitivity and with the TRUE DAAS TORAH

  40. Kavod Habriot comments are worth reading

    It seems many people have lost their Torah minds.

    People should learn Chofetz Chaim every day, perhaps it will change the way the pen every gossip about anybody and everybody that comes to their empty minds.

    I don’t know Waldner, nor have I read his books… but I do learn Chofetz Chaim every day and what happened here goes against everything the Chofetz Chaim wrote!!!

  41. I resent reading that “a number of rabbonim…quietly” if rabbonim agree they must do so openly. If not, then don’t quote them. I don’t believe everything I read.

  42. Support Victims Of Abuse:

    Well if I KNOW someone is a victim of abuse and they are asking for my support then I will gladly give it. But if someone is CLAIMING to be a victim and asking for support in the exclusive context of helping them destroy the life of the person they are accusing then how can I possibly do so? Particularly when in most cases I don’t even know who is making the accusations. I’m hearing from a third party who frequently has either a vested interest or a heavy bias towards making and believing those accusations

    Some people say we don’t take accusations seriously . Others say there is a lynch mob mentality whenever accusations are made. Which is the cause of which?

    Personal question for Rabbi Gluck: Is your money where your mouth is? Say you would believe accusations and help the victim but they turn out to be false. Would you compensate the accused out of your own pocket or would you (at most) apologize and blamed the person making false accusations for YOUR behavior? Don’t be so quick to answer because I know of a therapist who said she would but then when it came down to it refused.

  43. @daastorah18 another two comments if I may. 1 – The statement in the name of Rabbi Edelstein in the form that it was publicised is so harmful in so many ways (including unintentionally to some degree validate murdering oneself and planting seeds in the vulnerable and immature hearts of young children of such actions Vhameivin yavin, among many other unintentional long term subtle messages) that it is absolutely Lashon Hara to believe that anyone actually made this statement. And until he is convicted in Bais Din for actually saying these words it is absolutely Asur Gamur to be mekabel Lashon Hara that he actually said it.
    2 – you built up a whole argument that there was absolutely no other lesson to be taught here to the so called protected children. I would like to suggest to you another option that I’ve heard from a professional Mechanech which I think takes care of all the issues you presented including learning the real point we’re supposed to learn from this story, namely that how this story ended was extremely wrong. To tell the children that this man was accused of doing very bad things (without mentioning details just like we do when dealing with horrible deaths and murders to very young children) point out that we’d don’t know if it’s true or not, in our eyes he may be a tzadik and may be a rasha- we are not judging. But in any event – whether he was guilty and instead having of having inner strength and consulting with Rabanim no how to apologize and rectify his misdeeds, and if he was indeed innocent then instead of consulting what his next course of action shall be for himself his family and everyone else involved – instead of doing any of that he did an even worse thing and killed himself etc etc. Word it however you want but all the points mentioned above to be brought out with all the correct messages you would like.

    Thank you

  44. It seems to me that if the leading Rabbonim are able to determine if the accused was guilty (by halocha standards) there would be great value in publicizing the fact, as it would serve as a deterrence to potential predators, offer comfort to victims, and remove at least some of the accusations that the Orthodox don’t take the issue seriously. In addition to this point, if committing suicide garners sympathy it encourages more people to commit suicide. I am not trying to indicate that the accused is guilty. I do not have access to the information to make such a determination. Obviously, only the leading poskim can decide such an issue.

  45. I am not going to talk loshen hara but??? you did!! And besides R Gershon Edelstein already said it is asur to talk about this!!!! He said the nifter was framed. Let the rabanim deal with the tora and you can help people with getting visas.

  46. @EliWillner, the truth is with @ladler, and its not even close. Just to add to the point…

    At the end of Shmiras HaLashon (Hilchos Rechilus 9:15), the Chofetz Chaim writes that the prohibitions against Lashon Hara and Rechilus do not apply to reshaim and kofrim and that it is, in fact, a mitzvah to mock such persons:
    “מצוה לפרסם דעתם הכוזבת לעיני הכל ולגנותם, כדי שלא ילמדו ממעשיהם הרעים.”
    “It is a mitzvah to make their false opinions public before all, and shame them so that others do not learn from their evil deeds.”

    That’s the Halacha for you, for everyone including me, for everyone in your shul and for tzadikim equally.

    And in a case when he is an extreme public menace proven in a Beis Din, then it is even more of a mitzvah to protect the public.

    This fellow did what he did up to and including an act of רציחה that ended his life. There was no teshuvah, and he stayed a רשע throughout his entire life and tried to stay a con man with his suicide note even after his death. Supposedly a well known גדול said that it is פשוט that the pressure put him into a depression that ultimately killed him. Thats difficult to understand as it is unlikely that there was a psychological exam of any kind that could confirm that he was depressed. If the mere understanding of hearsay and second hand stories and events was enough to confirm that he was depressed enough to kill himself, then the same should apply to the negative evidence. Negative such as a written psak beis din that he sinned with a married woman and was consequently forbidden to her. Tape recordings of this fellow telling an אשת איש that she’d better cover up his sins with her or he’ll kill himself. His subsequent commitment of that
    killing. 22 or so victims testifying. That should be enough to have anyone of great stature say, at a minimum, “I’m going to listen to all of the evidence and then issue an opinion”. Then it would be clear that this fellow was a רשע and died that way. However, to ignore all that and say it was רציחה on a depressed person shows that if the supposed statement of the gadol is accurate, then someone must have lied long and incredibly well to have a person of stature believe his side and not say what the Chofetz Chaim clearly says above.

    Parenthetically, there was a letter written supposedly by two of the most choshuve people in the world six months ago attesting to the wonderful character of this fellow. As people have said before, it is highly unlikely that a person with a written psak beis din about איסור אשת איש would be called a morally good and wonderful person. Unfortunately, there are tapes of him telling the married woman etc. So simply put someone lied then to the choshuve Rabbonim and their opinions were based on a liar. That may be the basis of this new, supposed opinion.

    Moreover, if abusers were routinely vetted, outed and punished in a legitimate beis din system, then perhaps there would be no need for the public to cry out so that no one learns from their ways, as the Chofetz Chaim says, becausewe wouldall have a clear psak from a beis din and everyonewouldknow exactlywhat to think and if it is necessaryto speak. However, sadly, which chareidi beis din specializes and deals with this in Eretz Yisrael – zero! It gets covered up time and time again. As such, there is no choice but for people like R’ Zvi Gluck to do what he does and say what he says. Yes, he’d probably love to have a great beis din enforcement mechanism to deal with it – but it unfortunately pretty much does not exist. Into that gap, with the counsel of many choshuve Rabbonim very well versed in Hilchos Lashon Hara and Rechilus, steps R’ Zvi Gluck.

    To those that say that the beis din that heard this case wasn’t professional – and the chareidi beis din that is professional is…… Oh, and as an aside, they heard from many professionals including therapists, dayanim, court records etc. As far as qualified is concerned, their probably as qualified as a beis din will get, considering that there really is no Israeli beis din qualified in this area.

    And a note – in Israel, an admitted and convicted moral crimes offender is put on a dangerous persons list. It is illegal for this list to be disseminated in public, and if it is, the convicted perpetrators can and have sued successfully for libel.

    The beis din heard mountains of crystal clear evidence, issued a psak, the fellow had been עובר ג’ חמורות for years without doing any teshuvah, and the halacha with a psak beis din is squarely in R’ Zvi’s corner. We must speak up because perpetrators keep on happening again and again because people defend them based on a wrong idea of Hilchos Lashon Hara and an inability to accept this unfortanuate reality. Every single parent knows what their pediatrician tells them about touch safety, why do you think that is necessary even in the frummest communities? Well, it is because it does happen! When people cover for the perpetrators, even after their deaths, it gives the next one encouragement to do their evil deeds when they see they’ll be accepted no matter what they do and what evidence there is. We can’t allow that to happen. Thank you R’ Zvi Gluck, may your organization speedily go out of business!

  47. B”H for commenters who pointed out that this article continues the travesty of pre-supposing the guilt of the accused who, as some pointed out, was a victim o “cancel culture”, as some pointed out, which has zero basis in halacha, etc.

    If (that’s *IF*) there are any victims of this man, then they certainly should be supported, helped, etc. But it is against the Torah for anyone to write about the deceased that he “did this or that”, when no Beis Din ever established the same.

  48. Many of the above comments have expressed outrage on the lashon hara against a man accused of very terrible avairos ben adam lachaveiro and bein adam lamakom. While most of their complaints are valid, they are missing an important point. It is OK to denounce lashon harah, but it is not OK to use that as an excuse to whitewash a person under terrible suspicions. The best path is silence. It is absolutely horrendous that people are referring to this man as ZTL and “an amazing author and therapist”. Don’t believe me? Look in Israeli chareidi websites. As soon as genuine allegations come to light, everyone should be silent until the matter is addressed. The gemarah discusses a “Kol dilo posok” that must be investigated. Nowhere does the gemarah imply that we simply disregard all accusations. Lachush miha bayi. We must take genuine allegations seriously. Coming out in support of the accused in the name of halacha just helps perpetuate this problem in klal yisroel and shows the victims they are the enemy for “making problems”. The proper route for the hamon am of people without any connection to the issue (including news articles) is to remain silent and not express either support or lashon harah until the matter is settled in a competent bais din.

  49. 1) I love Tzvi Gluck.
    2) I am in awe of his zechuyos and respect him in the extreme.
    3) Most of the article is awesome.
    4) Report abuse!
    5) Don’t ever swipe it under the table!
    6) Abusers, though we should pity them and try to help them both before and after the fact, are guilty and halachically responsible!
    7) The victims halachically deserve “first dibs” at our support.
    8) It is ridiculous to presume that Chaim Walder, a Yid with a chezkas kashrus — who undeniably did myriad good deeds for our communities internationally — was guilty… simply based on a Dayan saying so on a T.V station. I mean, puh-leeze! We have darkei hapsak v’chulei… we don’t just announce a person’s decided guilt on gal-gal-gal-Galatz or Meah v’achat fm! Gosh! Let’s have a return to due halachic process, please!

  50. How can an organization that lives off therapist salaries, Who’s solution to everything is send people to therapy (with the kickback), Go ahead and backstab one of their biggest suppliers of income???

    Unless he didn’t pay his cut…

    So they cut him off…

  51. I am not sure why “lashon hara” is the main topic of discussion? The question we need to ask ourselves – what has to be changed that such things do not happen, especially over long time periods. Were there people/organizations that were aware/had suspicions? Did they investigate or report to competent B’Din/police? Also, are there publicized way for victims to report their information to someone who will take a responsible action? I do not know answers to these questions.

  52. @eli willner i do agree about the implication in his words that it is ok to talk about it for no reason although i dont believe that is what he meant
    2 as for all the people who bash rabbi glucks authority and ‘bmakom sh’ein ish’ he spoke to gedolim before writing this as he does before every step he takes. i know this personally.
    3 the accusation against feldheim that they acted in the wong in the way they handled the situation is blatant motzai shem roh. they consulted rav gershon before every step they took including their handling of the PR.
    4 of course there is no reason and it is assur to talk about this on a gossip level.
    5 to all those who are saying that since he is dead we are kicking a dead horse, again the point is not to talk about and speculate. the point is to help the victims so if you are unrelated to this case and just read yeshiva world like me there is no reason to talk about what happened. however the public denial of what allegedly happened is very painful to the victims. i know the way this was handled was a disaster (the whole thing started from haaretz) but lemaaseh rabbi eliyahu had quite a bit of evidence to work with and the conclusion he came to was that these victims were hurt in the worst way. therefore the focus must be on helping them. dan lekaf zechus is lechatchila but proof is proof. these victims need help. that must be the focus in spite of other issues about how this was handled

  53. “Eli Willner, learn the halachos of lashon hara l’toeles including being mevazeh ovrei aveira and especially where there is a toeles of protecting future victims if all the conditions are met.”

    @Ladler – it’s moot. There will be no more “future victims” of this man. So why does it all have to be spewed out again and again?

    Without knowing FACTS – none of us do – there is no justification for this tragic story to be perpetuated. It’s interesting that YWN saw fit to NOT report Mr. Walder’s death, after all the coverage they gave to the allegations. Could it be they felt some remorse at the part these articles and quotes by certain Rabbis MAY have played in the circumstances of his death? Or maybe they also decided it’s over, at least legally.

    The people who came forward need to be given expert, ongoing support. So does Chaim Walder’s family. They are also victims.

    One thing everyone agrees on: these matters should always be taken seriously and adjudicated thoroughly. But the Court of Public Opinion is not the place for determining innocence or guilt. Inflammatory comments from public figures before any clear proof is made public is also abhorrent.

    I pray everyone heals and that we multiply our efforts to root out this kind of evil – without excoriating the “perpetrator” to the point where he takes his life.

  54. @Der Emes Iz: I don’t know of any poskim who hide behind pseudonyms on Yeshiva World so I assume you are not a posek, either. Please forgive me if I’m wrong (and of course, identify yourself).

    If I am not wrong then you can write reams and reams of pilpul but your words have no halachic weight and I remain unimpressed. I suggest, however, that you take the matter up with Rav Gershon Edelstein whose short psak effectively negates everything you said and who, perhaps, opened a few seforim on shmiras haloshon in his lifetime as well. Maybe you’ll convince him to change his mind. I’ll await a further public communication from him retracting his psak issur in light of your arguments. (But, I’m not holding my breath.)

  55. @ClearKop: As long as prohibited loshon horah continues about the niftar, as it does, there is every reason to continue this discussion – in order to push back against it, which is what I am trying to do.

  56. Food for thought….Sanhedrin 110a.

    Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani says….Moshe heard that they suspected him of adultery with a married woman, as it is stated: “And they were jealous of Moshe in the camp”.

    Rabbi Shmuel bar Yitzcḥak says: This teaches that each and every man warned his wife to distance herself from Moshe and not enter into seclusion with him, as it is stated: “And Moshe would take the tent and pitch it outside the camp” (Exodus 33:7). [It was due to this slander that he withdrew from the camp].

  57. Thank u writer bagelbrains. U said it. He was a MASTER MANIPULATOR. a sick wicked diseased individual. Noone should b sitting Shiva for him. His body should be left to rot amd for wild animals to destroy. He destroyed worlds there’s no place for him not in the world to come nor this world . The malachei chavala throw his soul back & forth like a ping pong ball beating him mercilessly Forever. And thsts as it should be. Anyone defending him is most likely an abuser themselves.

  58. I am not saying guilty or not guilty. It is not for us to decide. Aside for the alleged victims, the only confirmed victims are his wife and his children.
    They too need our support and we have an obligation to raise funds for them to help them through this.
    They have done nothing wrong and are hurting as well

  59. @Clearkop The reason most of us care to talk about this and verify is because almost every single Jewish home around the world has a book or two written by this man. Can a bais din or a rov put out a peak about what every reg person(the whole amon am) should do with all the books on our bookshelvesour kids grew up with???

  60. P.s. I put the books in the garbage then felt bad maybe it was part of the shfichas damim so I took them back out. And now I’m just confused and waiting for some psak to come out..

  61. The conversation should NOT be about books or even about this one guy.

    It should be about stooping others from continuing or starting.

    THE MAJORITY OF CHILDREN TODAY, suffering from sexual abuse are from OTHER KIDS THEIR AGE.

    THESE KIDS NEVER ARE HELD RESPONSIBLE OR STOPPED, and there is ZERO help for the victims because the predators are kids.

    I know of a kid who was EXPELLED from one camp because if this, but was FULLY allowed to attend SCHOOL and OTHER CAMPS and continue abusing other victims.

    Nothing ever happened to him. Today he us an adult and living his life with other adults SUFFERING IRREPARABLE DAMAGE, while he goes Scott free.

    Who knows how many kids are still suffering from OTHER KIDS????

    This IS THE DISCUSSION we should be having!!!!!!!
    The adult abusers are a TINY FRACTION from the real abuse from other kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  62. Chaylev, you must live in an alternate universe to make the bizarre claim that most child abusers are children. And in all caps with many exclamation points to boot. How in heavens name did you gather the vast data about abused children necessary to come to such a conclusion? Or is it based on the anecdotal evidence of one or two stories you are personally familiar with?

  63. Oh please. The chances that the “allegations” are false are slim to none. There is no kaf zechut for a rasha. Yes, someone with his resume could very well be a Rasha. This whole article does not say that people should go out talking about it. It says that those who speak about it should not be shut down because “it’s lashon hara.” Speaking about people is bad taste, but don’t silence those who do because that is defending the perpetrator and creating a platform for this to happen again. If you don’t want to believe it good for you, there’s no good reason to come to this mans defense, just leave it be.

  64. The only Godol HaTorah who has spoken is HaGaon Rav Gershon Edelstein. He is worth more to Klal Yisroel than you or your organization will ever be. And his view doesn’t seem to back up yours.

  65. i love how every person nowadays thinks there a gadol and can just write a psak din because ”they know the halacha”. all of this needed to just be figured out in beis din and if he was found guilty then you can let the public know. But according to daas chachomim. Not ober chachomim

  66. @Eli Willner – It isn’t just my opinion. Just to see some others – Look at what Horav Zimmerman ( https://www.torahanytime.com/#/lectures?v=173791) from London wrote and said in a long speech. Look at what R Eisemann (https://vinnews.com/2021/12/29/powerful-letter-from-rabbi-ron-yitzchok-eisenman-of-passaic-about-the-chaim-walder-case/) from Passaic wrote. Additionally, remind yourself that on Thursday a victim was found dead – she killed herself from the emotional trauma resultant from the abuse. Those Rabbonim know well of what may have been said from Bnei Brak, who supposedly said it, and they still said what they said – very much the opposite of what you write. So obviously their opinion is “kvodo bimkomo munach” if it is truly his opinion, and they possibly that feel if he would know and understand all if the current facts his opinion may be vastly different.

    Your intransigence on this matter is unimpressive. In the words of the ilui of iluim Horav Chaim Zimmerman z”tl, (author of the Agan HaSahar), there are no Popes by the Jews. If a Rav supposedly says something that flies in the face of established facts and halacha then we don’t pasken like his opinion. He’s choshuv, he’s a tzaddik – and he’s not correct when he’s not correct. To believe that a Rav is always correct even when choshuve, legitimate Rabbonum and all the facts say the extreme opposite – that’s a Christian attitude, and Yidden don’t do that. Certainly his opinion is still very choshuv, but when contradicted by mountains of facts and the opinions of Rabbonim, its not any better than any shita in halacha that we don’t follow – and there are untold numbers of shitos in halacha that we don’t follow.

    As an aside, many years ago when in Eretz Yisrael once I was there when a question was posed to the then Raavad of the Eidah HaChareidis, a world renowned posed who knew כל התורה כולה etc. I posed the same question (why there was a need for a second opinion is a good question but either way…) I posed that question to a different Rav on the Badatz Eidah HaChareidis. The second Rav told me its good that you asked again because on technological things the Raavad doesn’t necessary know. He didn’t say that no matter what, even though the Raavad was an Adam Gadol “ad meod” that we have to blindly follow his opinion. If an opinion would have been fact contradicted then it wouldn’t have been followed. Blind adherence to an opinion in the face of facts – and other choshuve Rabbonim’s psakim based on those facts – that is not the אידישע way. So you can be as intransigent as you want, but the truth is very far from you.

  67. @Der Emes Iz: I cite a letter from Rav Gershon Edelstein and you quote a screed from a Rabbi in Passaic. Yet, I am “intransigent” and you are supposedly holy; so holy that you can declare that Rav Edelstein “flies in the face of established facts and halacha” and therefore you are free to ignore what he says. This is the epitome of איש כל הישר בעיניו יעשה and it’s pathetic that your are blind to this.